Worrisome chemical found in canned foods

BY SONYA COLBERG Published: February 7, 2010
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/> "Regulatory agencies around the world, which have recently reviewed the research, have reached conclusions that support the safety of BPA. Extensive scientific studies have shown that BPA is quickly metabolized and excreted and does not accumulate in the body,” the statement reads.

BPA has been around since the 1960s but was recently eliminated from most baby bottles because of health concerns.

And federal health agencies now say there’s "some concern” over how BPA could affect children’s brains and behaviors, as well as boys’ prostate glands.

Heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity in adults are all linked to BPA, some scientists say.

Vom Saal’s work shows 202 government-funded studies showing harm, compared with 15 that found no adverse effects with low doses of BPA.

Chemistry corporation-funded work, however, shows four studies recording no adverse effects.

Two independent studies found the more BPA in your body, the greater your risk of heart disease, vom Saal said. Even tiny amounts of the chemical change the brain and behavior, he said. It takes very little BPA to make big changes because it is a hormone-like chemical that tricks the body and can lead to breast, uterine or ovarian cancer.

"The average person is already being exposed to amounts of this chemical that are increasing disease,” said vom Saal, a professor with the University of Missouri.

But toxicologist Calvin Willhite, with California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control, led a team that reviewed scientific studies on BPA.

Their conclusion was published in February 2008 in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.

Their findings were that there is no clear indication the BPA doses normally consumed by humans pose an increased risk.


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TIPS
How to limit exposure to BPA

→Eat fresh or frozen produce and limit your

consumption of canned food. Also, try processed food in "brick” cartons, pouches or glass.

→Cut back on canned soda and beer and choose glass when practical.

→With newborns, avoid baby bottles or sippy cups made of polycarbonate (hard, clear, shatterproof) plastic. They’re marked with the recycling symbol #7, and sometimes labeled "PC." (Not all #7

plastics are polycarbonates. Call the manufacturer to make sure.)

→Try a BPA-free reusable water bottle, such as an unlined stainless steel bottle.

→Heat and plastic don’t mix. Try cooking foods in oven safe glassware in microwaves rather than using plastic.

→Try a carbon filter on the water faucet.

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